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J Exp Biol. 2014 Mar 1;217(Pt 5):639-50. doi: 10.1242/jeb.095430.

Gill cell culture systems as models for aquatic environmental monitoring.

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King's College London, Division of Diabetes and Nutritional Science, Franklin-Wilkins Building, 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH, UK.


A vast number of chemicals require environmental safety assessments for market authorisation. To ensure acceptable water quality, effluents and natural waters are monitored for their potential harmful effects. Tests for market authorisation and environmental monitoring usually involve the use of large numbers of organisms and, for ethical, cost and logistic reasons, there is a drive to develop alternative methods that can predict toxicity to fish without the need to expose any animals. There is therefore a great interest in the potential to use cultured fish cells in chemical toxicity testing. This review summarises the advances made in the area and focuses in particular on a system of cultured fish gill cells grown into an epithelium that permits direct treatment with water samples.


Biomonitoring; Environmental risk assessment; FIGCS; Fish; In vitro; Toxicology

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